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Spark recording 29.98 video instead of 29.97?
2742 34 2017-6-27
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PhotoJoseph
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Hey all,

I imported a bunch of recorded video from the Spark into Final Cut Pro X, and it's reporting the footage is all 29.98fps instead of 29.97. Anyone else seeing this? It plays fine but that does mean it could introduce some stuttering when rendering.

Probably not a big deal, but I'm curious if anyone else is seeing this.

-Joseph
2017-6-27
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fans4c658529
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I also see the clips as 29.98 in Final Cut and have had stutter issues with rendered video. VLC sees the Spark's files as 29.970032 FPS, and Premiere Pro shows them as 29.97, both of which play and render smoothly, so it seems to be a Final Cut-specific issue. I haven't found a solution for it yet other than just not using Final Cut.
2017-7-5
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fans6902c8ac
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Only thing that i have found online is that you can convertd the SPARK footage with ex. Media Encoder of Adobe to 29.97 FPS, then it's smooth again. I think we need a firmware update in the spark. It does look liek hte output of the Spark is incorrect.

Maybe someone can confirm this ?
2017-7-22
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orgfred65
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I checked some files from my Spark in MediaInfo and Apple's Quicktime player and both report that the video is indeed 29.97

Could the issue be FCPs AVC codec?
2017-7-22
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eylneb
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is this u?
2017-7-22
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Natesac
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This has been driving me nuts trying to fix. I use iMovie on MacOS to edit my videos. Every one of them has a weird judder. I have noticed that a LOT of the spark footage I see on youtube also has this judder.

After I get done shooting with the Spark, if I play the unedited videos from the SD card they play back nice and smooth, if I edit with iMovie they get all choppy.

I've tried dropping clips from other cameras into the timeline to lock the FPS, no luck. Always judder. The only thing that works for me at the moment is running them through handbreak first before adding them to iMovie. I am far from a video expert, but I guess what is going on is that 29.970032 is tripping up iMovie (and also FCPX). Seems as though that extra 0032 makes a difference.

I wonder if it's possible for DJI to fix this through a firmware update to make the Spark record in a proper 29.97 rather than 29.970032.
2017-7-30
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jetto black
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Natesac Posted at 2017-7-30 09:34
This has been driving me nuts trying to fix. I use iMovie on MacOS to edit my videos. Every one of them has a weird judder. I have noticed that a LOT of the spark footage I see on youtube also has this judder.

After I get done shooting with the Spark, if I play the unedited videos from the SD card they play back nice and smooth, if I edit with iMovie they get all choppy.

The true NTSC frame rate is 30000/1001 which is 29.9700299700299700...
2017-7-30
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Natesac
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jetto black Posted at 2017-7-30 09:47
The true NTSC frame rate is 30000/1001 which is 29.9700299700299700...

Ahh so it would seem that 29.970032 is really not all that far off from proper NTSC. I wonder what is the culprit here.
2017-7-30
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fans2143936e
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If you make your FCP project 30P and not 29.97 it seems to solve the stuttering issue.
2017-7-30
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Natesac
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fans2143936e Posted at 2017-7-30 10:10
If you make your FCP project 30P and not 29.97 it seems to solve the stuttering issue.

I have seen that that seems to solves the issue with FCP. I can't seem to find a good fix for iMovie.

I'd love to upgrade to FCP, but I blew all my "fun money" on the Spark
2017-7-30
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Snowboada
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fans2143936e Posted at 2017-7-30 10:10
If you make your FCP project 30P and not 29.97 it seems to solve the stuttering issue.

thank you for this hint!
now I am able to start my project (more than 50 flights during one month jouney)
2017-7-30
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fans9ff6d142
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Here is the workaround for choppy video for iMovie. I found this by accident while I noticed some of my clips were fine but some are choppy. All the videos that I trimmed in iMovie did not have choppy frame rate, only the ones that are not trimmed are choppy. So you need to trim a small portion of the clips in media first before putting the video in timeline. I trimmed in timeline and that did not work.
2017-7-30
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lafoto
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Same... I use 30p in the project... but i have a bigger problem... my other cameras are in 25p!!!!! I need 25p on the SPARK... Please!...
2017-7-30
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PhotoJoseph
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Can someone from DJI address this issue? It's not insignificant. Switching my timeline to 30p isn't an option; I'm mixing in content from other cameras. I need a 29.97 timeline!
2017-9-8
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LOKY
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fans9ff6d142 Posted at 2017-7-30 19:39
Here is the workaround for choppy video for iMovie. I found this by accident while I noticed some of my clips were fine but some are choppy. All the videos that I trimmed in iMovie did not have choppy frame rate, only the ones that are not trimmed are choppy. So you need to trim a small portion of the clips in media first before putting the video in timeline. I trimmed in timeline and that did not work.

What I saw in some other threads is for iMovie you need to trim the beginning of the shot, I mean not the end, middle, the beginning.
2017-9-8
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Sparky_17
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I'm thinking of getting Final Cut Pro.  Is this a bad decision or not.  Can anyone shed some light before I spend the money on the software .. thanks
2017-9-8
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PhotoJoseph
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Sparky_17 Posted at 2017-9-8 11:12
I'm thinking of getting Final Cut Pro.  Is this a bad decision or not.  Can anyone shed some light before I spend the money on the software .. thanks

Final Cut rocks. However it's not handling the Spark footage properly (or the Spark footage is improper; one of the two). But I highly recommend FCPX.
2017-9-8
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PhotoJoseph
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LOKY Posted at 2017-9-8 10:41
What I saw in some other threads is for iMovie you need to trim the beginning of the shot, I mean not the end, middle, the beginning.

Yeah I tired that in FCP; didn't make a difference
2017-9-8
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PhotoJoseph
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I think I found the root of the problem, and it points to DJI for sure. This is looking at a Spark clip in MediaInfo (available from the Mac App Store):



Notice how the frame rate is set to variable. The frame rate should be 29.970 but for this clip, varies from 29.358 to 29.977. Those numbers change from clip to clip.

How do we get DJI to see this?!
2017-9-8
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PhotoJoseph
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BUMP… c'mon DJI, this is an awful problem. It's non-trivial for us to fix. So far the options seem to be…

1. transcode all your footage using Media Encoder or Compressor. This is fine for a clip or two, not for dozens or hundreds
2. Edit in iMovie which for some reason once trimmed seems to behave properly… but of course for anyone editing in Final Cut Pro X, downgrading to iMovie isn't an option!
3. Edit on a 30p timeline, which is fine if all you're cutting is Spark footage, but if you're integrating this with other content, that's definitely not an option.

Have I missed any workarounds? PLEASE DJI, address this!
2017-11-9
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DJI Susan
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Thanks for bringing this to our attention. What's the current version of the aircraft, controller and APP? Please kindly offer the original video for further assistance. Thanks so much!
2017-11-14
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Montfrooij
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PhotoJoseph Posted at 2017-11-9 05:08
BUMP… c'mon DJI, this is an awful problem. It's non-trivial for us to fix. So far the options seem to be…

1. transcode all your footage using Media Encoder or Compressor. This is fine for a clip or two, not for dozens or hundreds

It is a strange way of working with fps indeed.
Sony Vegas Pro is fine with the variable framerates btw. I did some testings with raw footage from others but it is not what I would like and not what I am used to with my other camera's.
2017-11-14
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PhotoJoseph
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DJI Susan Posted at 2017-11-14 02:12
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. What's the current version of the aircraft, controller and APP? Please kindly offer the original video for further assistance. Thanks so much!

Yay, DJI is here! This has been happening since day 1 with the Spark, and the problem is NOT unique to me. Just scroll this thread… it's prevalent. Multiple videos on YouTube, too. I'd suggest it's every Spark. This isn't an isolated issue. I'm currently on 01.00.701 but this has been happening forever.
2017-11-14
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PhotoJoseph
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DJI Susan Posted at 2017-11-14 02:12
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. What's the current version of the aircraft, controller and APP? Please kindly offer the original video for further assistance. Thanks so much!

Oh and here's an original clip. Again just drop this on a Final Cut Pro X timeline. If it's a new timeline, FCPX will tell you it doesn't recognize the footage and ask you to choose the size and frame rate. If the footage was proper 1080p29.97, then the app would recognize that. If you set the Final Cut timeline to 29.97, then the video will stutter. If you set it to 30p, it will play fine. If you look at the clip in QuickTime Player, it reports that it's 29.97. But if you look at it in MedaInfo (scroll up to my post from 2017-9-8 to see a screenshot) it reports an odd frame rate and my conclusion there is that the Spark is recording in VARIABLE frame rate, which is a problem.

Download a clip here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vfwb5jf9yiyh3uw/DJI_0155.MP4?dl=0
2017-11-14
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DJI Susan
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PhotoJoseph Posted at 2017-11-14 05:26
Oh and here's an original clip. Again just drop this on a Final Cut Pro X timeline. If it's a new timeline, FCPX will tell you it doesn't recognize the footage and ask you to choose the size and frame rate. If the footage was proper 1080p29.97, then the app would recognize that. If you set the Final Cut timeline to 29.97, then the video will stutter. If you set it to 30p, it will play fine. If you look at the clip in QuickTime Player, it reports that it's 29.97. But if you look at it in MedaInfo (scroll up to my post from 2017-9-8 to see a screenshot) it reports an odd frame rate and my conclusion there is that the Spark is recording in VARIABLE frame rate, which is a problem.

Download a clip here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vfwb5jf9yiyh3uw/DJI_0155.MP4?dl=0

Well received, thanks! I'll forward to our engineers for further review.
2017-11-15
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PhotoJoseph
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DJI Susan Posted at 2017-11-15 02:22
Well received, thanks! I'll forward to our engineers for further review. I'll keep follow up the status for you here.

Thank you. There's a really good video sample embedded above that someone put on YouTube. Shows it very very clearly.
2017-11-16
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fans132d7cfa
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Thanks for bringing this to my attention everyone. Is there any news moving forward with this- or is the workaround to convert prior to editing?

Appreciate the help!
2017-11-29
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Adlibber
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fans132d7cfa Posted at 2017-11-29 10:18
Thanks for bringing this to my attention everyone. Is there any news moving forward with this- or is the workaround to convert prior to editing?

Appreciate the help!

I've just posted my info on this juddering or stuttering problem on this forum today. Basically the DJI codec outputs two different packet durations: 33.359 msec and 33.438 msec and then adjust the duration of the last packet so that the average frame rate for the whole video is 29.97 fps. This is called variable frame rate coding or VFR. It appears that video editing software, which is all non-linear these days (NLE), has problems with VFR. This is readily fixed by running the video file through Handbrake and outputting a constant frame rate (CFR) of 29.97 fps. But why do DJI do this? I haven't a clue! By the way, on my very first flight I took a three minute video. It looked fabulously smooth - until I edited it with iMovie. Got the same stuttering with Final Cut Pro.
2017-12-14
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PhotoJoseph
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Adlibber Posted at 2017-12-14 11:21
I've just posted my info on this juddering or stuttering problem on this forum today. Basically the DJI codec outputs two different packet durations: 33.359 msec and 33.438 msec and then adjust the duration of the last packet so that the average frame rate for the whole video is 29.97 fps. This is called variable frame rate coding or VFR. It appears that video editing software, which is all non-linear these days (NLE), has problems with VFR. This is readily fixed by running the video file through Handbrake and outputting a constant frame rate (CFR) of 29.97 fps. But why do DJI do this? I haven't a clue! By the way, on my very first flight I took a three minute video. It looked fabulously smooth - until I edited it with iMovie. Got the same stuttering with Final Cut Pro.

What settings are you using for Handbrake? Is it NOT re-encoding the image; just re-writing it as non-VFR? That's my concern; I really don't want a generational loss of the footage. Given that it's 1080p and super compressed already, I really don't need any more loss!
2017-12-16
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PhotoJoseph
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DJI Susan Posted at 2017-11-15 02:22
Well received, thanks! I'll forward to our engineers for further review. I'll keep follow up the status for you here.

Hey Susan… any update for us? Super happy to finally have DJI's attention on this… please don't let it be ignored.
2017-12-16
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DJI Susan
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PhotoJoseph Posted at 2017-12-16 14:00
Hey Susan… any update for us? Super happy to finally have DJI's attention on this… please don't let it be ignored.

Thanks for your feedback, your request has been transferred to our engineers, hopefully they will consider this in the future.
2017-12-16
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PhotoJoseph
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DJI Susan Posted at 2017-12-16 22:15
Thanks for your feedback, your request has been transferred to our engineers, hopefully they will consider this in the future.

Hey DJI Susan… any update here? Telling us that the engineers will "hopefully consider this in the future" isn't much help. This isn't a feature request. It's a BUG in the hardware that needs to be addressed.
6-18 10:03
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DMX_MT
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PhotoJoseph Posted at 2018-6-18 10:03
Hey DJI Susan… any update here? Telling us that the engineers will "hopefully consider this in the future" isn't much help. This isn't a feature request. It's a BUG in the hardware that needs to be addressed.

Welldone in spotting the Bug !

Have a Nice day !
6-18 10:13
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DJI Susan
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PhotoJoseph Posted at 2018-6-18 10:03
Hey DJI Susan… any update here? Telling us that the engineers will "hopefully consider this in the future" isn't much help. This isn't a feature request. It's a BUG in the hardware that needs to be addressed.

We have not got an update, sorry about this.
6-25 02:14
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13rovers
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lafoto Posted at 2017-7-30 21:03
Same... I use 30p in the project... but i have a bigger problem... my other cameras are in 25p!!!!! I need 25p on the SPARK... Please!...

Nail on the head!!  

But I suspect that we can bang on until we're blue in the face about 25fps, as DJI just couldn't give a hoot for PAL Spark owners!
6-25 04:19
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